Saturday, September 27, 2014

A wide range of weed control across the courses has been happening over the past several weeks.  The weather has a dramatic effect on just how much can be done, particularly the wind. A lot of the weeds we have are in the "difficult to control" category but we are making some headway in to them. We have also been trying a few alternative strategies to control Couch encroachment in to the West greens and will continue this over the summer months.  As has been mentioned before total eradication of the encroaching Couch is impossible so once again efforts are about limiting the level of encroachment.  Players will regularly see some dye used with the mixture which allows the operators to see where they have been as evidenced below on 17W green.

17W green dye
The West greens continue their impressive recovery from the recent renovation and are looking and putting very well.  One of the problems associated with the greens renovation
especially with the weather warming up is the extra irrigation that is required which also puts water out on to the surrounds making them softer than they should be.  To help alleviate this and also to improve turf quality, these areas will be hollow tined this coming week and some fertiliser added.  Unfortunately fowl manure will be the best option so there will be a bit of a smell over this coming week on the west course!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

A very pleasant week of weather and the recovery of the West greens following their renovation has been outstanding.  The greens do need probably 2 more "sandings" to finish leveling the surface up but the warm weather may affect the timing of this.  The sand can literally "cook" the greens if you don't get the application just right so caution will be needed in the coming week or so.  The surrounds of the West greens received an application of herbicide this week which has resulted in a "burn" of the leaf which will grow out shortly.  The photo below does show just how good the greens look only 2 weeks after renovation.

        Burn around 4W green with the green

Signs have been placed on the 1st tees of both courses alerting players to the recent change on placing bunker rakes back in bunkers as follows;


Always leave rake in the flat of the bunker with the handle parallel to the line of flight of the hole being played.

Thank you for your cooperation. 

 So this is not how to place the rake;

Rakes left on slope of bunker at 4 West

And this is where the rake should go....but please use it!!

Rake correctly placed but not used by the player.  They even left the ball behind for us!!

And a bit of history for recent members and for those who forget what things looked like:
The old buggy shed prior to 2007!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

A very big week of work on the courses this past week and the weather on the warm up.  The West greens have recovered very well from the renovation and have been mown several times this week.  It is always a difficult time as the best time to mow them is when they are dry but unfortunately that's when the players are out.  Mowing in the early morning dew makes the sand stick to the rollers on the mowers and the build up of sand then gets between the reel and bedknife affecting the quality of cut and this is the reason for the streaky lines on the greens.  The height is gradually being returned to normal so if all goes to plan they should be fine by next week end.

The Coots enjoying the lush growth on 7 West green

Another 100 cubic metres of sand was added to the River course bunkers this week with the rear bunker on 2 River and the right side bunker on 15 River having some repair work carried out.  A lot of stone had appeared in these bunkers so the existing sand was excavated and a liner installed prior to the new sand being added.  The liner will prevent any more stone coming up from the floor of the bunker but will still allow drainage.

8 River bunker before sand

8 River bunker after sand
2 River bunker lining and re-sanding
Some more dead and dangerous tree removal continued this week and unfortunately one of the Norfolk Pines at the rear of 13 River green had to be removed.  There was a major cavity in the tree that actually housed two bee hives and was beyond repair.  The photo below shows a white tee marker that had been thrown in to the cavity some 8 metres off the ground.  In addition to the beehive that was visible from the ground there was a native bee hive located in the upper cavity.

Norfolk Pine rear 13 River cavity

The cavity as seen from the ground

Saturday, September 6, 2014

The West greens renovation has been completed after a very frustrating week.  The week delay meant that the contractor who assists in the aeration was unavailable which stretched my staffing numbers and the ability to get the job finished.  A shower of rain on Tuesday that didn't even register in the rain gauge wet the sand sufficiently to make rubbing it in almost impossible and then one of the aeration machines pulled some more material out which meant that more sand needed to be added to some greens which made the sanding task quite difficult to judge.  But all in all a good result has been achieved and the greens should bounce back full of vigour and ready for the summer ahead.

This week saw the removal of some more dead and dangerous trees from the courses.  A large Melaleuca on the left side of 9 West that was on the "to do" list came down and is a timely reminder why such trees are removed.

Melaleuca down LHS 9W
7R bunker before sand spread
The week also saw some 100 cubic metres of sand added to selected River bunkers which is the first time for a few years we have been able to do this.  The sand being used now is a 60 / 40 mix of specified bunker sand and brickies loam.  The brickies loam gives the sand the orange colour and also helps the sand from drying out too quickly and becoming fluffy.  It was interesting to read the article in the September issue of Australian Golf Digest about bunkers.  The recent Turf Conference on the Gold Coast had a bunker forum where architects and Superintendents described some of the methodologies being used around Australia to come up with a bunker design and sand that will please golfers.  Coolangatta Tweed got a mention for the Course Improvement Plan that will potentially see 30 bunkers removed from the two courses.  As quoted in the article bunkers typically take up about 2% of a golf course property but anywhere between 10 and 25% of allocated groundstaff hours.  They are hazards aren't they??

7R bunker after sand